The University of Iowa

UI Ob/Gyn dept. receives global award to promote women's health in Ethiopia

September 12th, 2018

(left to right) Dr. Abbey Merryman, Dr. Mary Rysavy, Dr. Tom Gellhaus, Dr. Ginny Ryan


Thanks to the assistance of a Global Research Partnership Award (GRPA) from International Programs, a team of University of Iowa obstetrics and gynecology physicians will travel to Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, early next year, with plans of establishing a partnership program to promote global women's health.

Given the increasing importance of globalization in higher education research, the GRPA was created to help initiate new or expand existing international partnerships.

"The Global Research Partnership Award provides seed funding to help UI departments and their faculty develop international connections that add value to and help advance research and discovery at the UI," said Downing A. Thomas, associate provost and dean of International Programs at the University of Iowa.

"We are very excited to have the support of the Global Research Partnership Award to help us provide training through our new partnership in Ethiopia," said Dr. Mary Rysavy. "The funding from this grant will allow us to make the first concrete steps toward goals for shared research, education, and clinical care opportunities with our colleagues at Bahir Dar University." 

Group members will include UI physicians Dr. Abbey Merryman, Dr. Mary Rysavy, Dr. Ginny Ryan, and Dr. Tom Gellhaus.  

"As Ob/Gyns, we believe strongly that all women should have access to high-quality health care, both here in Iowa and around the globe." 

In addition to the creation of an Iowan-Ethiopian academic partnership, Dr. Rysavy and her team also plan to establish trainee development programs to address their larger goal of improving the health of underserved women worldwide through sustainable education, research, and clinical service with local and international collaborators.

"We're hoping to work ‘bega kwa bega,’ as a favorite Swahili says goes, or 'shoulder to shoulder,' with our new Ethiopian colleagues to improve women’s health in this area." said Dr. Tom Gellhaus

"As Ob/Gyns, we believe strongly that all women should have access to high-quality health care, both here in Iowa and around the globe," said Dr. Mary Rysavy.  "We have all provided service and clinical care in low-resource settings internationally in various capacities, and we see one way that we can make a substantial impact is to provide training for local health providers in settings where they can then provide daily clinical and surgical services to improve women’s lives."